Philippians 2:27

For indeed he was sick near unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
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Ambrosiaster

AD 400
Is it possible that the apostle prayed for him and the prayer was not answered by his immediate recovery? Remember that signs are for unbelievers. This man’s illness was designed not for his hurt but for his growth. Many indeed are the trials of the faithful … and therefore the petition of the apostle was not spurned, but a better provision was made for him on whose behalf Paul prayed. –. ...

Gaius Marius Victorinus

AD 400
Note what benefits we experience from the Lord even in this life. Hence we ought not hurry to death. For even if this world is a hotbed of sin and therefore to be shunned, yet the desire to live in the world comes from your nature and is not sin. Life ought to be desired. So it is right to say “God had mercy on him.” ...

Gaius Marius Victorinus

AD 400
Many are preserved and pitied by God because something is done through them which belongs to the ministry of salvation. At the same time we also should pray for those who are ill, lest we be saddened by the loss of those whose help we need in the performance, imparting and proclamation of divine grace. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
sorrow from his death in addition to that which sprung from his sickness. By this he shows how much he prized Epaphroditus.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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